Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC Television Group ©2010 Disney Photo: Michelle Money From Season 15 of The Bachelor

Okay, put down your pitchforks for just a second and listen. It actually makes sense.

Granted, Michelle Money is a crazy person, but crazy people make the Bachelor franchise go ‘round. And they need love, too!

The “villains” are routinely the most watchable, quotable, and fascinating people each season. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the most interesting person on the show be the lead — the one person you can’t kick off?

Sure, Emily Maynard — the lady most fans seem to want as the Bachelorette, if Brad Womack doesn’t pick her — is sweeter and saner and more seemingly genuine than Michelle, but she’s not good TV. Emily seems like a good friend to have, but not a good person to watch for 10 weeks at a time, especially when fans froth at the mouth at the slightest challenge to Emily’s feelings. You can’t treat the Bachelor or Bachelorette with kid gloves and after the NASCAR date, it’s clear that Emily is surrounded by egg shells.

Em and her tragic past are too delicate for further exploitation — and make no mistake, this franchise is all about exploiting tragedies. (Just ask Chris Lambton, who turned down The Bachelor partly because of the way it kept milking his mother’s death.)

We only get to see glimpses of the “villains” and “sweethearts” on each season. No one is two-dimensional. If Michelle had 10 weeks to show all the sides of her character, we’d probably see that she’s not a mustache-twirling cartoon villain — she’s a single mom who’s made major mistakes in her life, but get in line behind everyone else on the show. (Yes, including Emily, who is a lovely person, but not Mother Teresa.)

Brad is proving that we all deserve second chances — and even “villains” deserve love. Besides, imagine the crazy fun guys ABC would cast for Michelle and how she would lay down the law with each and every one of them.

What do you think?